ANTIGONISH: Antigonish Community Transit (ACT) continues to drive forward in its efforts to supply convenient, affordable transportation by adding three new stops.

The new stops – located at Whidden’s Trailer Park, arriving 20-minutes past the hour, Sylvan Valley Apartments, 25-minutes past the hour and Hawthorne Variety, 27-minutes past the hour – will assist with an increased demand for their service.

“There certainly was a demand for adding the stop at the Sylvan Valley Apartments,” Madonna van Vonderen, general manager of ACT told The Reporter. “When we started looking at our route, we started looking at other places where there would be probably heavier traffic. While we didn’t have specific requests for those locations, after reviewing our bus route, we thought these may be good additions to make to it.”

Other changes to the route include minor changes to the locations of a few stops. The Bloomfield Center stop is now located in the lower parking lot due to the recent construction of Mulroney Hall, the bus will no longer be entering Shamrock Acres but will rather stop on Hawthorne Street at the park’s entrance. Also, the bus will now stop on Main Street in front of the Canadian Tire gas bar instead of entering the parking lot.

With service being provided Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., van Vonderen said there is always room for improvement on addressing ridership, which she indicated was approximately 130 per week.

“It’s incredibly important for so many,” she said. “We go to a lot of senior housing providers, not so much the long-term care because they are not as able to get out on their own, but apartments buildings where there [are] a lot of seniors like the Sylvan Valley Apartments.”

The service ACT provides is important for the seniors who are mobile but don’t necessarily like to drive, don’t want to drive, or don’t have access to a vehicle.

“We are beefing up the route, and we really want to promote that at StFX because students are also people that could make very good use of this,” van Vonderen said. “It is very affordable, and it goes where the students need to go, for those that don’t have transportation options.”

Additionally, she said it’s particularly important for StFX’s international students, as it’s a convenient service they can take advantage of on a university budget.

“A lot of students make that trip down Liquor Lane – the dirt path that heads to the mall from campus,” van Vonderen said. “A lot of them make that walk and walk back without realizing, that they’re carrying their groceries and purchases and they could just jump on the bus right there for two bucks and get right back to campus within five-minutes.”

Rates for ACT’s town route remain unchanged; $2 for a one-way fare, $5 for an unlimited day pass, and $55 for 20 unlimited day passes.

Additionally, ACT also provides a book-a-ride service for areas beyond their town route and for more information or to book the service, which needs to be done at least 24-hours in advance, people are asked to call 902-867-0411.